Longtime Pierce College tennis coach Xanthos dies

Updated: June 14, 2006, 3:52 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Paul Xanthos, who coached tennis at Pierce College for three decades and won 23 conference championships, died at 85.

He took a nap Monday and apparently died in his sleep, son Paul Jr. said.

Xanthos began coaching at Pierce in 1965 and retired in 1993. He came back to coach in 1999 and returned again in 2005. His teams at the junior college in suburban Woodland Hills had a 550-94 record.

"Paul really was an institution at Pierce and created essentially a dynasty of successful tennis teams," Pierce College president Robert Garber said. "It's a loss to his family, a loss for the college, and a loss for the community to have somebody who dedicated so much of his life to helping others."

Xanthos, who wrote several books and articles about his sport, was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994 and the U.S. Professional Tennis Hall of Fame five years later.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press